31 May Sicilian Defense Drazic Variation – A Learner’s Guide
a6 is considered a rather odd move for Black here but Black’s idea is to see what White would do with the center. This variation gives White a few good choices to control the center.
Here are the moves:
- e4 c5
- Nf3 e6
- d4 a6
White usually plays Nc3 on the 4th move to continue with the usual Sicilian line followed by Black playing cxd4 and White playing Nxd4 on the 5th move. This usually transposes into the Sicilian Cann defense. Black can now play Nf6, Nc6, and Qc7.
Qc7 is usually the main move played. If Nf6, then White can play e5.
On the 6th move, White usually plays Bd3 followed by Nf6 and castling by White.
Instead of playing Nc3 on the 4th move, White can use the pawns and play c3. If Black plays cxd4, White can play cxd4 and White will have good control over the center. If Black does not play cxd4 on the 4th move, Black could play d5 or Nf6 and this would transpose the game into the French Defense.
If Black plays Nf6 on the 4th move, the game can transpose into the Sicilian Alapin where White would have a slight positional advantage.
White can play d5 on the 4th move as well which transpose into something similar to the Benoni Defense. Black will usually respond with d6 followed by White playing c4. Black may play e5 followed by this to control the center. White will usually respond with Nc3. The overall result of this line is that White has more control over the center and has two knights developed while Black has no minor pieces developed.
The Black Bishop is also passive now.
A better option for Black in this variation would be for Black to play exd5 instead of playing d6 on the 4th move. White will respond with exd5 as well and now Black will have to play d6. The best move for White now is c4 followed by Black playing Bd7 and White playing Nc3. White now clearly has an advantage in this position as White has more space. White can now play h3 to stop Bg4. If Black castles now, then White can play Bd3, gaining maximum control over the light squares on the kingside.
Another great line for White to play is to play c4 on the 4th move. If Black plays cxd4 followed by White’s move as Nxd4, then this will lead to lines similar to that in the Sicilian defense. Black can now play Nf6 and White can play Nc3 threatening Bg4 on the next move to pin the knight. Black can avoid this by playing Qc7 and prevent e5.
White can now play a3 but stops the Black Bishop from coming to the b4 square. Black now plays b6 usually and starts developing his pieces. At the end of this variation, White usually has a slight advantage as White has more space.
If White does not play Nc3, this can lead to a trap:
- e4 c5
- Nf3 e6
- d4 a6
- Be3 cxd4
- Nxd4 Nc6
- e5 Qa5+
Here, Black is posing a Queen fork on the pawn on e5 while simultaneously giving the White king a check. This allows Black to gain a pawn in the opening.
According to a Statistical Analysis found on chess.com, on playing the Drazic Variation, the following results are obtained :
1. Should Black play the Drazic Variation of the Sicilian Defense?
According to statistical analysis drawn and according to the positional ending f this opening, it has been observed that this opening offers a fair range of options for White. This opening usually ends with White gaining a lot of spatial advantage, giving White a minor advantage in this opening. Hence this variation is not the most preferred line of the Sicilian Defense.